Running Changed My Life. And Legs. And Core! Get the Couch-to-5K Running App!

CONFESSION: A few months ago, I could barely jog 10 metres. Now, I run at least 5K every morning. My secret? The Couch-to-5K running app (and it’s FREE)!

Running really helped shape my legs; they look so much better now! I was surprised that running strengthened my core, too, and that’s a bonus for sure. As a couch-potato-turned-runner, I shall now share with you the app that literally transformed my life. Today, you’ll finally learn HOW to start running.

I shall be bold and claim the Couch-to-5K (henceforth referred to as “C25K“) running app to be hands down one of the best things I discovered this year. I’m super excited to share this with you, and I can’t wait for you to try it for yourself.

Are you presently a couch potato? Do you want to take up running, but don’t know where or how to begin? I wrote this post with you in mind. I want to help you.

The Couch-to-5K running app

Downloading the C25K app

There are several C25K apps available at the app store. Just type in “C25K” and you’ll see what I mean! I use the free one made by Zen Labs. Of course there’s nothing to stop you from scouting around and reading reviews to see if there are other better 5K training apps out there! :) 

How the C25K running plan works

See, the old adage that “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail” rings very true for me. I’m a creature of routine and habit; if I were to embark on something and expect myself to succeed, I’ve got to have a solid plan. The C25K running plan is exactly what I needed.

C25K takes you from the couch to 5K in about 9 weeks, via a walk/run training sequence that increases in intensity as you progress through the weeks. I’ll be honest and say that I completed the program in less than 9 weeks because I am a rebel. I like a challenge.  

So. During these 9 weeks, you will train only 3 days per week, with each session lasting 30 minutes… which doesn’t sound that bad, right? You should take a rest day between training days to allow your body to recover properly before your next workout. Rest days are especially important; you shouldn’t stress your body out too much with your new exercise routine.

Start every workout with a brisk 5-minute warmup walk.

Begin every workout with a brisk 5-minute warmup walk

Getting started

You begin every workout with a brisk 5-minute warmup walk and end all workouts with a 5-minute cooldown walk.  

To start, select Week 1 Day 1, and the app will prompt you to start walking. When you reach the 5-minute mark, the app will tell you to begin running, and when to start walking again. I found this extremely helpful; I don’t have to use a separate stopwatch or watch the time – just listen to the prompts!

Music will play as you work out so be sure to load your iPod with energising songs. It’s going to be incredibly boring if you work out without music. Music keeps me going during my runs and I constantly refresh my list so I don’t listen to the same old tunes over and over again!

The Couch-to-5K Running App

The running plan breakdown

Week 1: Alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

Week 2: Alternate 90 seconds of jogging and 2 minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes. 

Week 3: Do 2 repetitions of these – jog for 90 seconds; walk for 90 seconds; jog for 3 minutes; walk for 3 minutes.  

The Couch-to-5K Running App

Week 4: Jog 3 minutes; walk 90 seconds; jog 5 minutes; walk 2.5 minutes; jog 3 minutes; walk 90 seconds; jog 5 minutes.

Week 5: Day 1 – Jog 5 minutes; walk 3 minutes; jog 5 minutes; walk 3 minutes; jog 5 minutes. Day 2 – Jog 8 minutes; walk 5 minutes; jog 8 minutes. Day 3 – Jog 20 minutes with no walking.

Week 6: Day 1 – Jog 5 minutes; walk 3 minutes; jog 8 minutes; walk 3 minutes; jog 5 minutes. Day 2 – Jog 10 minutes; walk 3 minutes; jog 10 minutes. Day 3 – Jog 22 minutes with no walking.

I bet the happiest part of your workout would be hearing, “Begin your cooldown”…!

The Couch-to-5K Running App

Week 7: Jog 25 minutes.

Week 8: Jog 28 minutes. Keep going!

Week 9: Jog 30 minutes. Ta-daa! A 5K runner is born!

One of the most satisfying bits of completing a workout is being able to shout, “I did it!” to the whole world. Go ahead and share your victory with your friends! This may be motivation for you to keep going. :)     

Well, it doesn’t count unless you share it with your friends, right? Bragging rights FTW.

Share your workout with your friends!My thoughts

I like that the app has everything planned out for you. You really don’t have to worry about the time; when to start, when to stop, when to finish. For every workout you complete, there’s a date note and a tick so you can keep track. The plan works to gradually build up your workout intensity, allowing you to adapt at a reasonable pace.

When I began the program, I really didn’t expect myself to be able to run a straight 5K – not with the program, not in this lifetime. Not ever! However, I saw no harm in giving it a whirl – after all, the app is free. Nobody forced me to do it. I was curious, I tried, I did it. Running 5K daily is now a habit and a superb stress-reliever. Burn calories whilst getting rid of stress and gaining fab legs… for free? I’ll take that.

It’s not going to be easy. During the program I had “Kill me now!” moments. Some days, I felt like giving up. Then I reminded myself of why I started and what it would mean to me if I could complete the program. I would be so proud of you if you even began!

Go ahead, download the app and give Week 1 Day 1 a shot. Remember, your body goes where your mind pushes it. If you think you can, you can. I would love to hear your thoughts on C25K! Let me know? 

xx J

9 thoughts on “Running Changed My Life. And Legs. And Core! Get the Couch-to-5K Running App!

  1. I always wanted to try running and one of those apps. I just began alone in February and reached 5 k in two weeks. Training for a half marathon in September. Running is a great stress reliever, clears your minds, makes you sleep better, burns calories and makes you stay in shape. Win win situation.

  2. I’ve stopped exercising since i injured my foot, and i really wanna try and get some sort of a work out in soon. Not too sure if i can jump in straight to running though. Regardless – you so inspire me Jade! U go girl… so proud of you (as usual!) <3!

    • Aww thanks Joy! You’re always so kind to me. I hope you’ve recovered well. I started out walking… then it turned into a slow jog, then a full run! It’s so true that we all start somewhere… I knew I just HAD to start. Had to do something. Your strength inspires me, too. You’re like the sister I never had.

  3. Hey Jade!

    Just started following you on Instagram (@iamcheang) and I am super psyched to start using this app to start my journey of being able to run 5km, then progressing to run longer distances like you and developing abs.

    Your story is most inspiring to me because most of the time, we read stuff about the people in other countries, like America, losing all that weight. But it isn’t as inspiring because I have always felt like their circumstances are different from ours, in terms of their weather, food and schedules. So your story is befitting for us, Singaporeans, because it shows that even with a day job, we can work toward our goal of being “miao tiao”. Words aren’t enough to describe how happy I am to have stumbled upon your blog this morning and to know that anyone can do it even with a 9 – 5 job. OMG! I just wanna hug you right now! HAHA…!

    I have a quick question though, what does it mean to “eat clean” and do you have oats for breakfast every day? Isn’t that a little boring? I am trying to clean up my diet too… but it is kinda difficult because I eat at the hawker centres nearby, for breakfast and lunch, and most of the stalls there serve really unhealthy food. Any tips on that?

    Would love to hear from you soon!


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